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Making the UK fair to all nations - including England

Last week, Scotland voted to stay in the United Kingdom. You might not think so but this really matters to our daily lives in Dover and Deal. Had Scotland gone, our security as a country would have been weakened.

Our stability would have been deeply wounded too. For sure, Scotland would have been plunged into a deep and long lasting economic and jobs crisis. Yet the instability of the break up would have harmed the English economy. It would have had a deep impact on jobs and money locally.

The Scottish referendum saw an agreement that the Scottish Parliament would receive more powers. The Scots Parliament already has a lot of powers - over education and the NHS for example. They already get far more public spending per head too. Spending that means they can have free prescriptions and free universities.

The new agreement will give Scotland even more power. They will soon be able to decide on welfare benefits and tax rates as well.

Already questions are asked about why the Scots get free prescriptions and free tuition. This was part of the original devolution settlement of the previous Government. Many feel they sold the pass on England.

More questions will be asked about the new powers the Scottish Parliament will get. So called "Devomax". People will ask how it can be right that the Scots get more powers while England doesn't. They will ask why should Scots MPs rule over the English on matters where they have no say back in Scotland.

Clearly it would be unfair. Which is why the Prime Minister has said there needs to be change to ensure English MPs only should decide on English matters.

All this again sounds distant from our concerns. Yet it's not simply a matter of fairness. Getting this right matters to our stability and security too. If nothing is done the sense of unfairness will anger England. Just as Scotland was fed up, so increasingly would the English nation.

The risk is that instead of Scotland wanting to leave the Union, England might. England might decide to leave Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to it. After all, people might say, why should we pay more? And they shouldn't be able to dictate to us. You can see how it would go.

All the concerns we had about the security of our island nation would be the same as last week's referendum. All those concerns about the economic mess of divorce would be the same too. It would be the other way round, but the damage to jobs and money would be the same.

This is why we need to act now. Before it becomes a problem. Ensuring England decides on English matters will ensure a fair union. A fair union is a stable union. A union everyone can feel part of that will continue to stand the test of time. Acting now, we will ensure our nation's and our children's futures can be secured for the long term.

Conservative run Dover District Council is moving ahead with plans to demolish Burlington House and redevelop the site on Dover's Townwall Street. Do you support this?

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Dover & Deal Conservative Association, 54 The Strand, Walmer, Deal, Kent   CT14 7DP
Tel: 01304 379669      Email: enquiries@doverconservatives.com